We stayed in the golden sands on batu ferringhi beach, so it was very easy to access the spice garden, we took the 101 rapid bus for RM4.50 for 2 adults and 2 children for a 10 minute ride to the garden ( the bus stop right outside and pick's you up across the road on the way back, you tell the bus driver where you are going, he will stop for you ).
I highly suggest to opt for the tour package, it cost us RM75 for a family tour. It was exceptionally informative, going through a lot of the spice's history and cultivation. They provide free insect repellent on arrival, which you need, a great shop for unusual gifts ( not the usual tourist junk ) and our kids loved the life size game of snake's and ladders. All in all a really nice escape and well priced, Don't bother paying for taxi take the bus
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